School Spotlight: 

International Professional School of Bodywork (IPSB)

"A clearer understanding of movement, of awareness, and of touch communication."


The International Professional School of Bodywork (IPSB) is a full-spectrum bodywork school located in San Diego, California. It was started in 1977 by people who were in the Arica school and used Arica’s view of the body’s role in conscious development. 

Rolf Structural Integration is only one of the specialties taught at IPSB. Edward Maupin began giving a basic introduction to the Rolf Method as soon as there were second-level students. He learned Rolfing from Dr. Rolf in 1967-1968 at the Esalen Institute. Esalen also viewed the body as an essential vehicle for conscious growth.Thus IPSB inherited a strong mind-body philosophy, and in fact it’s original name is Institute for Psycho-Structural Balancing.

IPSB teaches the standard “10 series” based on Maupin's recollection of Dr. Rolf’s teaching, published in “A Dynamic Relation to Gravity.” The 10 series is a teaching method which Dr. Rolf devised for her students to use “until you know what you are doing.” Rolf SI, of course, is not a series of strokes, but a series of goals. The sequence of the 10 series is a conceptual form that can support highly varied approaches to different situations. It is a conceptual jewel that constantly guides experienced practitioners whether or not they are “doing” the 10 series.

The program at IPSB emphasizes movement and awareness. Every class includes some experience in movement to make clear the nature of structural organization we are seeking. What Dr. Rolf called "The Line" IPSB calls “Expansional Balance", and it is explored in many kinds of movement. IPSB instructors also emphasize awareness. They teach how to communicate with the awareness in the client’s body in order to bring about change. Touch is communication. Real, lasting structural change is not due to mechanical force, but to new awareness and new movement possibilities in the body.

At IPSB the Rolf Method itself is taught in 350 hours. Students also study about 250 hours of anatomy, physiology, and other basics as prerequisites. The entire program takes about five quarters. The primary instructors at IPSB are Edward Maupin, Ron Arbel, Jessica Radulavich. The 120 hour SI Specialization class covering the 10 series is offered Spring and Fall Quarters. Students take it twice, the second time as practitioners working on outside models. Classes are scheduled so that practicing body therapists can commute from out of town weekly for 10 weeks while maintaining their practices at home. All IPSB classes are open to SI practitioners from other schools.

While the instructors at IPSB do not teach the “Advanced Series” that Dr. Rolf taught, they are developing a 50 hour advanced class that includes biomechanics and other advanced topics.